“Can you suffer and still be kind?”
“For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health . . .” I remember saying these vows on my wedding day, but in my mind, I only focused on the positive side; for better, for richer and in health (smile). No one wants to go into a relationship focusing on the worse, the poorer and being in sickness. However, if you are married long enough, you will experience each part of your vows. This week’s post is a focus on the challenging side of the vows, times when things are not so good. One word that sums it all up is to SUFFER. How do you handle your times of suffering?
First, let’s be reminded of what it means to suffer. The dictionary defines the word suffer as:
- To undergo or feel pain or distress
- To sustain injury, disadvantage or loss
- To endure pain, disability, death, etc., patiently or willingly
- To endure, undergo or be subjected to anything unpleasant
Are you suffering right now? Have you ever had to suffer? Do you know someone who is suffering? Suffering not only takes place in marriage, it also happens in other relationships, in your health, on your job, in your church or in ministry. It seems as if, when you love someone or something, the love is often tested by having a season of suffering. Some don’t make it through this season because they can’t take the suffering. Suffering will cause you to say and do somethings that you may have never thought. However, when you suffer with God, He will keep you and sustain you. “You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!” Remember; “With God all things are possible!”
I Corinthians 13 is a popular chapter in the Bible about love. It is often read at weddings. Verses 4-7 (NKJV) says; “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
The entire passage is powerful! Let’s just focus on the fact that, LOVE SUFFERS LONG AND IS KIND. The word kind is defined as; of a good or benevolent (expressing goodwill) nature or disposition, as a person, having or showing benevolence, being indulgent (to yield to), considerate or helpful, mild and gentle. You have to have a relationship with Jesus Christ to suffer and be kind. Only God and spending time with Him and His Word can make you be kind in the midst of suffering. As humans, we don’t have the ability to do it by ourselves. We need God’s Holy Spirit to fill us while we are suffering so that we can still be kind. God is able!
Perhaps this does not apply to you right now. However, at some point in your life you or someone you know will suffer. Keep living! May God’s grace, love and strength carry you through your season of suffering. Know that it is just a season and it will not last always. They say; “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.” Be encouraged and know that God loves you!
Until next week . . .